Fear not, campers. the peril that are the NFL Bye weeks are finally coming to a conclusion. But with no less than 14 viable fantasy players on the shelf, you’ll want to be mindful of some replacement players that might sneak up and deliver admirably.
Let’s take a look at a few for Week 12:
Eli Manning, New York Giants – As the Giants continue their second half resurgence, there is no reason to think that Manning won’t continue the rise with the Dallas Cowboys next on the schedule. With a defense allowing almost 450 yards per game and over 300 of that through the air, Manning could be in for a stellar afternoon.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – The Jets secondary no longer strikes fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks, as evidenced by the 250 yard average through the air they’ve yielded this season. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the nine passing touchdowns they’ve allowed in the past three weeks. Look for Flacco to exploit this and gain through the air what the Jets rush defense won’t allow on the ground.
Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – As solid (and surprising) as RB Bobby Rainey’s performance was last week, if the Buccaneers are to have any chance against the Lions, it will be throwing the football. Look for Glennon to have his best game as a professional this weekend. Oh they’ll lose, but Glennon will come to play and rise to the occasion.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Cleveland Browns – Look for the versatile Ogbonnaya to make some noise against a good but not great Steelers run defense. His pass catching ability and the slow decline of RB Willis McGahee are good indictors of a decent ascension to fantasy viability this week. Of course, averaging 6.3 yards per carry on the ground doesn’t hurt either.
Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts – Well, fellow RB Trent Richardson showed up on the injury report this week with a “calf issue”. Never mind his prior performances have left his fantasy owners on an injury report of sorts, with headaches from banging their heads repeatedly against a wall. So enter Brown, who has done nothing but perform when given the chance. The matchup isn’t the greatest, but with his contributions as a receiver, Brown will more than likely out-stat his teammate once again.
Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals – Granted he’s quieted down somewhat, and the return of RB Rashard Mendenhall dampens things a bit, but… Come on. Mendenhall’s inability to stay healthy and the fact that Ellington is a superior performer should tilt things back into the rookie’s favor. Oh, and the Colts are giving up well over 100 yards per game on the ground and Ellington is a prime candidate to make the most damage.
Toby Gerhart, Minnesota Vikings – Gerhart obviously only warrants consideration if WR Adrian Peterson misses the game, which despite Peterson’s “questionable” tag is very unlikely. That said, if Gerhart does get the nod he’ll be in for a solid game as the Packers run defense is nothing to write home about.
Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers – With WR Antonio Brown and Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden getting up close and personal down field, things should open up considerably for Sanders and teammate WR Jericho Cotchery.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs – Not sure what you’ve been smoking, but if you don’t think this is a stellar matchup for Bowe, think again. (Yes, getting a ton of mileage out of the weed/Bowe jokes..) The Chiefs are at home, coming off a loss that derailed their undefeated season bid, and the Chargers are giving up on average over 275 yards through the air. Over the past few weeks, Bowe has been more involved (26 targets) in the offense and this will undoubtedly continue this week against San Diego. Bowe will have to continue to be a part of things if the Chiefs are to ultimately be successful when it counts and Andy Reid is well aware.
Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings - If you don’t think Jennings had this game circled on his calendar, you are crazy. His status is questionable, but I still think unless he falls off a cliff, he’ll be in uniform and on the field when the Vikings take on the Packers in Lambeau. Now, temper your enthusiasm as heart and the desire to smack your former employer in the mouth can only go so far, but I still have a strange suspicion he makes an impact.
Andre Holmes, Oakland Raiders – With WR Denarius Moore expected to miss this week’s game against the Titans, Holmes gets quite and opportunity to shine. He is a BIG target and could provide some sneaky production as WR Rod Streater draws top coverage.
Timothy Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Someone else other than WR Vincent Jackson will be involved in this contest the Bucs will likely be playing from behind in all afternoon long. Wright has been quiet the past few weeks, but he’ll elevate his performance as Tampa Bay plays the uphill battle all game long.
Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders – He has seen a decent increase in productivity since QB Matt McGloin took over as the team’s starting quarterback. As long as his targets and production increase, he’s worth a gamble and could hit pay dirt again this weekend against the Titans.
Fred Davis, Washington Redskins – Rumor has it with TE Jordan Reed ruled out for Sunday’s game, Davis will be declared active. Look, Davis was no slouch prior to his myriad of issues and it would behoove him to play well and set the table for the next move in his career. Don’t be surprised if Davis plays a nice role for the Redskins this week. TE Logan Paulsen? Nah.
Best of luck this week.
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